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May 4, 2016 7:16 am

Iowa Governor to Sign Bill Banning Use of State Funds for Israel Boycotts

avatar by Shiryn Solny

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A BDS protest. House File 2331 is intended to counter the BDS movement. Photo: Mohamed Ouda via Wikimedia Commons.

A BDS protest. House File 2331 is intended to counter the BDS movement. Photo: Mohamed Ouda via Wikimedia Commons.

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad will sign a bill that prohibits state funds from being invested in companies that boycott Israel, he said on Monday.

The bill, formally titled House File 2331, will apply to the state treasurer, the Board of Regents and some state pension funds, including the Public Employees’ Retirement System. The investment bill also prohibits public companies from signing binding agreements of $1,000 or more with firms that boycott Israel.

House File 2331, which was passed by the Iowa Senate last week after being approved in the Iowa House of Representatives, is aimed at countering efforts of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement.

Iowa is the eighth state to pass an anti-boycott of Israel bill, according to the American educational organization, The Israel Project.

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Gov. Branstad said he thinks it is “wrong to be boycotting our friend and ally, Israel.” He added, “There is a lot of opportunity for us to do business with them, and I don’t believe we ought to be penalizing Israel, of all countries. They are one of our best friends and allies. This is something I strongly support.”

Gov. Branstad plans to have a formal bill-signing ceremony for House File 2331, according to The Des Moines Register. He noted that Iowa’s Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds visited Israel last month with the Republican Lieutenant Governors Association to meet with Israeli leaders, and that the Greater Des Moines Partnership participated in a trade mission to Israel two years ago.

House File 2331 has faced opposition from the American Friends Service Committee in Des Moines, Iowa, and the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa.

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